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Max Licher @
Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Alopecurus geniculatus - water foxtail
Other Common Names: marsh foxtail

Plant Form:Grass

Family: Poaceae

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Max Licher @
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Max Licher @
  Grass Description -   Glossary of Grass Terminology

Origin: Introduced    Season: Warm
Habitat Description: Grows in mud and shallow water. Found in ditches, open wet meadows, along shores and stream banks from lowland to montane zones.
Plant Communities: Riparian
Elevation: Below 8000 feet

Similar Species: Phlegm pratense

General Description

Desc: Plants may be annual or perennial and are sometimes shortly rhizomatous. Stems are erect or trailing, occasionally rooting at the nodes. Leaves are inserted mostly on the lower 1/2 of the stems.
Identification notes: Lemma awns bent and twisted below, much longer than the glumes. Flat blades.
Grass Type: Perennial bunchgrass  Rhizomes: Y  Stolons: N
Large Dense Clump (> 2 feet): N  Bushy (highly branched): N
Height with Seedheads: 12 to 24 inches
Seedhead Structure: Branched - contracted  Seedhead Droops: N
Flowering Period: Jun - Aug

Flower Characteristics

Number of Flowers per Spikelet: One-flowered  Spikelets One-sided: N
Awns: Less than 1/4 inch   Three Awns: N  Awns Bent: Y

Flower and Seedhead Notes: Single-flowered spikelets are densely compressed along the entire length of each seedhead. The spikelets are attached to branches rather than to the main axis of the seedhead. Seedheads may have a purplish hue.

Vegetative Characteristics

Blade Hairy: N  Blade with White Margin: N  Blade Cross Section: Flat  
Blade Notes: Leaf sheaths are open and loosely clasp the stems. Blades are flat, green to grayish-green, with clear veins. Leaf blades are usually smooth but may feel rough, especially on the lower surface.
Sheath Hairy: N  Tuft of Hairs Top of Sheath or Collar: N  Ligules: Membranous
Auricles (Ear-like lobes at base of blades): N
Vegetative Notes: Ligule is present as an unfringed smooth membrane.

Forage Value: The foliage is browsed when young, but becomes less palatable as it matures and may present a greater association with fungi responsible for equine pulmonary disease. Nutritive value is poor.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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